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Eatontown Personal Injury Law Blog

How double hearing protection works

New Jersey workers, regardless of their industry, can be the victims of excessive noise exposure. OSHA actually has a permissible exposure limit in place as a way to regulate noise exposure, but employers must do their part by setting up a hearing conservation program. As part of this program, employers must train employees on monitoring noise levels and provide them with the right hearing protection devices.

In cases where a singular hearing protection device is not enough, employees need double protection. The most common example of double protection is the wearing of earplugs and earmuffs at the same time. NIOSH states that workers who, over an eight-hour shift, are exposed to a time-weighted average of more than 100 A-weighted decibels should wear double protection. In the mining industry, workers must have double protection when exposed to an average of 105 dBA.

Artificial intelligence could reduce distracted driving crashes

Drivers in New Jersey and elsewhere love their cellphones and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Unfortunately, these devices are causing an increase in distracted driving accidents on U.S. roads.

According to the National Safety Council, around nine Americans are killed and an additional 100 others are injured in distracted driving crashes every day. These accidents are often caused by cellphones or other devices, but they can also be caused by distractions outside the vehicle, distractions caused by kids or pets, fatigue-related inattention, eating or playing with the radio while behind the wheel. To help reduce the risk of accidents, automakers have been offering collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking systems as options on new cars and trucks for many years. Starting in 2022, these technologies will come standard on all new vehicles.

OSHA fines repeat violator after machine accident leads to injury

Companies are expected to keep employees safe from workplace hazards. Lockout/tagout procedures, for example, protect employees from the unexpected startup of machines, and machine guarding can keep workers' extremities from being caught or cut by machinery. Some companies fall afoul of OSHA by not incorporating these safety measures, and one such company in New Jersey has been fined three times now by the safety organization.

The Pennsauken branch of a nationwide fence company has been fined $370,298 in penalties for repeated violations of the federal standards relating to lockout/tagout, the installation of machine guards and the proper lighting of warehouses. It was during an April 2019 inspection that OSHA uncovered these violations. Inspectors also noted that a loading dock was obstructed and that the electrical disconnects for forklift truck chargers were blocked.

Understanding the stages of breast cancer

When women in New Jersey are diagnosed with breast cancer, timing can make all the difference in the outcomes they receive. People with earlier diagnoses are far more likely to survive their cancer with fewer long-term effects. Some people receive a delayed diagnosis because their doctor failed to diagnose their cancer, despite signs and symptoms that could have led them to start treatment far earlier.

People with stage 1A breast cancer have small tumors that are invasive but have not yet spread to the lymph nodes; that spreading has happened by the time that a stage 1B breast cancer is diagnosed. A diagnosis of cancer at this early stage is more likely to have positive outcomes, and many women report symptoms that go unnoticed or misdiagnosed by their doctors. These tumors can be less than 20 millimeters in size. By stage 2A, the cancer may have spread to one to three lymph nodes or can be up to 50 millimeters in size if it is contained within the breast.

Male breast cancer patients see lower survival rates than women

Though rare, breast cancer does occur in men. Residents of New Jersey should know that it is, in fact, on the rise with some 1.21 per 100,000 men in the U.S. suffering from it in 2016 (compared to 0.85 per 100,000 men in 1975). Even more unfortunate is that male breast cancer patients tend to experience lower survival rates than women do.

A study published in JAMA Oncology has found that this trend holds even when factors like clinical predictors and socioeconomic status were taken into account. One reason for this disparity is the difference in treatments. For instance, many of the male patients who can benefit from endocrine therapy do not receive it.

Road rage linked to more car crashes

Many New Jersey motorists are concerned about the threat that road rage can pose. People have lost their lives in road rage incidents, especially when guns are involved. There were 247 incidents around the country of drivers brandishing guns in 2014, and that number rose to 620 in 2016. In the first half of 2017, there were 325 such incidents, pointing towards a new high. In some cases, raging drivers use their cars as weapons, running over or hitting people they believe have wronged them.

Deadly car accidents linked to rage on the road or aggressive driving rose dramatically for the periods in which statistics are available. In 2006, only 80 fatal crashes were connected to aggression, but there were 467 related collisions by 2015, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Around 80% of drivers responding to one American Automobile Association survey said that they had somehow expressed aggression while behind the wheel. Some of the most common types were relatively mild - 45% said they honked horns in anger, 47% yelled and 33% used obscene gestures. However, a surprising 51% admitted to tailgating deliberately, a driving behavior that can lead to serious accidents.

Deaths from red light running crashes rise

More and more people in New Jersey and across the U.S. are dying at the hands of drivers who run red lights. Red light running crashes led to 939 deaths in 2017, which the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says is the highest the number has been in 10 years. Approximately 46% of the victims were drivers or passengers in the other vehicle while 35% of those killed were the offending drivers.

The AAA Foundation has a Traffic Safety Culture Index out showing how more than two in five drivers believe it is unlikely to be caught by the police for running a red light. Since police cannot be everywhere, it is important, then, that local governments integrate red light cameras in their traffic safety programs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has stated that cameras cut the rate of fatal red light running crashes in big cities by 21%.

Many Lyme disease patients are misdiagnosed

Some New Jersey residents might have Lyme disease and not even know it. According to medical professionals, the condition can mimic other conditions and be difficult to diagnose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost 300,000 people contract Lyme disease, which is transmitted through tick bites, each year. Symptoms of the disease can include skin rashes, headaches, fatigue and fever, but some people don't present with these symptoms. The symptoms are also common to many other conditions, including the flu, making it easy for patients to believe they have something else. Finally, doctors must confirm that a tick bite occurred before they can conclusively diagnose Lyme disease, but some patients don't know or don't remember they've been bitten, slowing down the diagnosis process. If the disease is left untreated, patients can eventually suffer heart problems, issues with their nervous system and joint pain.

Experts warn about mistaken vasculitis diagnoses

When people in New Jersey go to a hospital or a doctor, they expect to receive an accurate diagnosis of their health conditions. However, they may face a surprisingly common likelihood of misdiagnosis in some cases. Vasculitis is a type of inflammation of the blood vessels, which can be dangerous at times. However, there are other conditions that can appear to resemble vasculitis, but the effective treatments for the inflammatory condition could actually lead to worsened health in these cases.

Experts are advising rheumatologists and other physicians to be careful when making vasculitis diagnoses in order to avoid potentially harmful medical mistakes as the result of an incorrect diagnosis. High-dose corticosteroids are some of the most common initial treatments for vasculitis. However, endocarditis often resembles vasculitis. One patient who was treated with steroids had a stroke and suffered permanent disabilities as a result. Blood cultures were not ordered before treatment was started, and the similar disease was missed. In addition, many adults develop vasculitis as a side effect of a drug, including both prescribed and recreational substances. This type of vasculitis can require different treatments than those cases that arise spontaneously.

Flaggers at high risk for roadway injury, death

Controlling traffic flow in work zones can be a dangerous occupation. Flaggers in New Jersey should know that there were 132 people who died in roadway work zones in 2017. They were all killed in car crashes, usually involving a driver who was speeding or being aggressive.

The Center for Construction Research and Training has provided some tips for flaggers so that they can remain safe in these zones. First of all, flaggers should wear high-visibility clothing. To protect themselves from adverse weather, they should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hard hats, among other things. When working at night, it's wise to wear a reflective vest.

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